The 14 most captivating new TV shows hitting screens this autumn
With the arrival of autumn comes the return of a jam-packed television schedule – and this year, there are more brilliant new TV shows than ever to tune into. From Prime Video’s long-awaiting Lord of the Rings adaptation to Stanley Tucci and David Tennant’s Inside Man and the return of White Lotus, the next few months look set to have plenty of binge-worthy new releases. Here we’ve rounded up the ones you won’t want to miss.
This autumn’s twistiest thriller comes in the form of The Suspect, which is adapted from the Michael Robotham novel of the same name. Aidan Turner (best known for his topless scythe wielding in Poldark) plays Dr Joe O’Loughlin, a successful clinical psychologist that appears to live a charmed life, with a happy marriage, publishing deal and rising media profile. But no one knows he is in fact harbouring a dark secret.
When a young woman’s body is discovered in a west London graveyard, Dr Joe is called in to offer his expertise and quickly finds himself more entangled in the case than he’d expected. Soon, questions start to be asked. Do we really know the real Joe, or is he actually leading a second life? And has his work as a clinical psychologist led to him trying to emulate the very criminals he treats? Made by the production company behind Line of Duty and Vigil, it’ll have you hooked from the very first episode.
29 August, ITV
The Capture series 2
The popular surveillance-based BBC drama, which features a brilliant British cast, is back for a second season. Holliday Grainger returns to reprise her role as DCI Rachel Carey and is joined by I May Destroy You’s Paapa Essiedu as Isaac Turner, a young rising star MP with ambitions for the very top.
Just like season one, the show questions whether we can really believe what we see, moving on from CCTV conspiracies to tackling ones concerning ‘invisible’ assassins and the terrifying rise of deepfake technology. With dark forces working to kill off Isaac’s fledgling political career before it’s even started, this is a captivating watch about the ever-growing tension between government and Big Tech, and the corruption at the heart of the British media.
28 August, BBC
If you’ve been bereft without a regular dose of Adrian Dunbar on your screens since Line of Duty ended, you’re in luck – this new ITV detective drama has cast the much-loved Irish actor in the lead role. Dunbar plays Detective Inspector Alex Ridley, who’s lured out of his retirement to re-enter the police force to consult on a dark and complex murder case by his former protégée, DI Carol Farman, played by Bronagh Waugh, who is now in charge of investigations.
Naturally, the case soon takes on a twisted and unexpected turn, and Ridley finds his unique insights being called upon more than ever. Inspired by the stories of real-life retired detectives who have returned to the force to help out their increasingly over-stretched colleagues, the show promises to explore thought-provoking crime stories in an original and distinctive way.
28 August, ITV
Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power
Fantasy fans have been feverish with excitement about this epic new series inspired by JRR Tolkien’s revered books, which has been years in the making and is said to be the most expensive TV show ever made, with a staggering £800 million budget. Set thousands of years before the events of the original Lord of the Rings series, the show will bring Middle-earth’s history to our screens for the very first time.
With a huge ensemble cast of characters that will be both familiar and new to viewers, not many of the actors are household names yet, but Morfydd Clark will be taking on the role of Galadriel (played by Cate Blanchett in the films) and Lenny Henry makes an appearance as Sadoc Burrows. The show follows them as they confront the long-feared re-emergence of evil in Middle-earth, exploring the rise of the Dark Lord Sauron and the last alliance between Elves and Men.
2 September, Prime Video
If you haven’t already had your fill of the seemingly never-ending Boris Johnson saga on the nightly news, you’re in for a treat, as this new Michael Winterbottom drama charts the events surrounding the Prime Minister, the British government and the country at large as they battled through the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Kenneth Branagh steps into the shoes of the mop-haired PM, while Ophelia Lovibond has been drafted in to play Carrie Symonds and Broadchurch’s Andrew Buchan will be playing the former Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock. Based on the first-hand testimonies of those inside Number 10, the Department of Health and The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), as well as from hospitals and care homes across the country, it offers an eye-opening insight into one of the biggest crises to ever shake the country.
21 September, Sky Atlantic/Now TV
Industry series 2
We were first introduced to the group of wide-eyed new graduates navigating life at top international London bank Pierpoint & Co in a pre-pandemic 2020, with the high-octane drama chronicling their first steps in the world of investment banking, as well as their debauched, bed-hopping antics. Now the show is back for a second season, when the grads can no longer hide behind their newbie status in a post-Covid world that has seen the markets turned on their heads.
Working-class Robert Spearing (Harry Lawtey), troubled American Harper Stern (Myha’la Herrold), rich girl Yasmin Kara-Hanani (Marisa Abela) and gay old Etonian Gus Sackey (David Jonsson) are thrown in the deep end for their return, with new US management on the warpath, forcing the junior bankers to drive new business and make important alliances both in and out of the office.
There’s always room for another female-led crime drama in our viewing schedules, and this one from the producers of Line of Duty and Bodyguard is at the very top of our list. Based on celebrated crime writer Val McDermid’s novel, The Distant Echo, it follows a young Scottish female detective as she solves murders in the beautiful Scottish university town of St. Andrew’s.
Outlander star Lauren Lyle plays Karen, a fiery and fearless investigator with an unquenchable desire to uncover the truth. She is tasked with reopening an historic murder investigation that has found itself the subject of an incendiary true crime podcast. Can she unearth the secrets that lie at the heart of this cold case 25 years on? Tune in to find out.
Hankering after sunnier climes? This new three-part BBC series set in a luxury resort in the Canary Islands will be bringing a healthy dose of sun-soaked drama to our screens this autumn. Keeley Hawes leads the cast as Jo, a woman on a dream holiday with her family and friends, before all hell breaks loose in a life-changing series of events.
While Jo is sunbathing on her hotel room balcony, shots suddenly ring out across the complex – a pack of gunmen are on the loose, out for revenge, and they’re set on turning this holiday idyll into a living hell. Billed as an “edge-of-your-seat, nail-biting thriller”, this is a story of survival and resilience. Trust us when we say you won’t be able to look away.
The White Lotus series 2
It was a runaway hit when the first season of the black comedy aired last year, and now The White Lotus is returning to our screens with a whole new murder mystery at its core – and a new clutch of wealthy tourists to loathe. For the second season, the powder soft sands of Hawaii have been replaced by the Mediterranean heat of Sicily, but you can expect plenty of the same biting social satire.
The ever-hilarious Jennifer Coolidge returns to reprise her role as the wealthy yet wounded Tanya McQuoid. Alongside her there’s a whole new cast of faces waiting to be embroiled in the darkly dramatic events, including Tom Hollander as Quentin, an English expat who is vacationing with his friends and nephew, Aubrey Plaza and Will Sharpe as Harper and Ethan Spiller, and Theo James and Meghann Fahy as Cameron and Daphne Babcock. You’ll never be able to think of Sicily the same way again.
October, Sky Atlantic/Now TV
Ralph & Katie
When The A Word first aired on the BBC in 2016, charting the story of a young boy and his family as they came to terms with his autism diagnosis, it broke ground for the way it increased representation and diversity both on and off the screen. Now the show is getting its very own spin-off series, Ralph & Katie, following two of The A Word’s most popular characters, played by Leon Harrop and Sarah Gordy, who both have Down’s Syndrome.
The series will follow their first year of marriage after their wedding in series three of The A Word, as they get to grips with the new set of challenges they face as newlyweds. Each of the six 30-minute episodes will tackle a different domestic task faced by most young couples, only with the added fact that Ralph and Katie have Down’s Syndrome. Expect plenty of joy and humour, as well as a fair few moving moments.
Release date TBC, BBC
This new thriller has all the key ingredients for a must-watch new TV show. Created by television royalty Steven Moffat (the brains behind Doctor Who and Sherlock), it stars three of the biggest names of the moment: David Tennant, Stanley Tucci and Lydia West, fresh from her breakout role in It’s A Sin.
While details for the show remain largely under wraps, the story will revolve around a prisoner on death row in the United States (played by Tucci) and a vicar in a quiet English town (played by Tennant). Moffat is keen for the plot to remain a mystery until the last moment, with the promise that the show will turn the usual crime thriller on its head. “Most detective shows are whodunits. This one is more like a ‘who will do it’. Or possibly a ‘you done it,’” he said. ‘Its central idea is anyone can be a murderer. And it won’t be the one you expect.”
Release date TBC, BBC
Thanks to Christina Ricci’s iconic performance, Wednesday Addams holds a special place in many TV fans’ hearts. Now, the death-obsessed, sharp-tongued teen is the subject of her own series, a Tim Burton reboot and coming-of-age mystery comedy that focuses on Wednesday’s high school years and her attempts to master her psychic powers.
Jenna Ortega is stepping into Ricci’s shoes (although the actress will be making a cameo appearance), and in this series Wednesday is on a mission – to stop the horrific killing spree of the town’s citizens, solve the supernatural mystery that affected her family a quarter century ago and navigate the everyday teen conundrums while studying at Nevermore Academy. Joined by Catherine Zeta-Jones in the role of the deliciously glamorous Morticia Addams, this is a must-see for Addams Family devotees.
Release date TBC, Netflix
Does Sharon Horgan have it in her to create a dud series? Judging by this latest smash-hit, it seems extremely unlikely. She both writes and stars in Bad Sisters, a pitch-black comedy about five sisters who attempt to kill a monstrous husband. Horgan plays Eva, the oldest of the Garvey sisters, and is joined by a similarly stellar cast in the form of Anne-Marie Duff as the widow Grace, Eva Birthistle as sensible nurse Ursula, Sarah Green as the fierce Bibi and Eve Hewson as Becka, the baby of the family.
An adaptation of the Belgian series The Out-Laws – which was once hailed as the blackest comedy of all time – you can expect plenty of witty one-liners and wickedly inappropriate moments as they plot and scheme to rid themselves of Grace’s unbearable spouse. But unfortunately for the sisters, life insurance agent Tom Claffin (played by Brendan Gleeson) suspects foul play and is determined to find out what really happened the night his client died.
Airing now, Apple TV+
House of the Dragon
It’s been three years since the controversial final episode of the juggernaut series Game of Thrones hit the small screen. Now, HBO has launched into its first round of spin-offs with this prequel series exploring the beginning of the end of House Targaryen. Set 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones, the 10-episode series chronicles the proceedings leading up to the Targaryen civil war, known as the ‘Dance of the Dragons’, and the war itself.
The first episode shared many of the trademark details that made GOT such a success – epic battle scenes, gloriously gory shots, brilliant production and tense politics. Excitingly, the show features a brand-new cast and completely new dynamics at play. Paddy Considine stars as King Viserys I Targaryen, the fifth king of the Seven Kingdoms, while Matt Smith plays his wayward younger brother – and presumed heir to the Iron Throne – Prince Daemon Targaryen. Complicating matters is Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, played by Emma D’Arcy, who is King Viserys’ firstborn child and determined that she should be the queen regent. Bloodshed, dragons and battles are sure to ensue.
Airing now, Sky Atlantic/Now TV